Politics

Political news from around NC and beyond.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg, middle, speaks as Rev. Dr. William Barber II, left, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, right, listen during a town hall event organized at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., Sunday Dec. 1, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg worshiped at Greenleaf Christian Church, a majority black church in Goldsboro, on Sunday.

Wikimedia Commons

A host of new state laws take effect December 1, including a number of criminal justice measures.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and his Republican rivals fought to a draw as the North Carolina legislature adjourned its longest annual session in nearly 20 years this month, still with no conventional state budget in place and many favored GOP items blocked.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Plans to overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid program are on an indefinite hold — another casualty of the budget impasse. 

A Republican-led investigation concluded Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper improperly handled negotiations over a mitigation fund related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

And, on the heels of legislative redistricting, a five-term state senator has announced his retirement. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation give their takes — from the left and the right — on what's behind the week's political news. 


Gordon Sondland's face in focus, with his nameplate reading 'Ambassador Sondland' out of focus in front of him.
Andrew Harnik / AP

This week’s impeachment hearings featured bombshell testimony, but is it reliable? Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, testified Wednesday and confirmed a quid pro quo with Ukrainian leaders —  a meeting with President Donald Trump in exchange for investigations into the president’s political rivals.

President Donald Trump, left, gives his support to Dan Bishop, right, a Republican running for the special North Carolina 9th District U.S. Congressional race as he speaks at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.
Chris Seward / AP

Following two weeks of impeachment testimony on Capitol Hill, it is unclear where – or when – the inquiry goes next. What has more clarity are the reactions from plenty of conservatives across North Carolina, who seem largely unmoved by the hearings.

The final Congressional District map approved by the North Carolina General Assembly on Nov. 15, 2019.
N.C. General Assembly

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

North Carolina judges have officially delayed candidate filing for the state's congressional seats while they sort out whether replacement districts approved by Republicans who lost another political gerrymandering case should be used for next year's elections.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

An investigation launched by the Republican-controlled General Assembly has concluded that Gov. Roy Cooper improperly handled negotiations over a $57.8 million fund related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Ten candidates are taking the stage for the November Democratic Debate in Atlanta, amid public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

NPR reporters will be providing fact checks and analysis throughout the debate. Follow along.

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WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Rufus Edmisten knows something about impeachment hearings.

In the summer of 1973, while working as a staffer to U.S. Senator Sam Ervin, it was Edmisten who hand-delivered a subpoena to the White House. He called it a footnote in American history.

Following his role in the Watergate hearings, Edmisten served as North Carolina Attorney General, and later Secretary of State. Edmisten was also defeated during a bruising 1984 gubernatorial campaign. Edmisten discusses these topics, as well as his passion for gardening, on the latest episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast.


view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law bills designed to help his cash-strapped Department of Transportation and the continued recovery from hurricanes Florence, Matthew and Dorian.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

North Carolina's General Assembly approved a replacement congressional map. 

Newly elected Republican Congressman Dan Bishop tweeted out the name of the person he believes is the whistleblower at the center of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. 

And state lawmakers adjourned an extra-long legislative session without resolving a budget impasse.  

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch — on the left —and Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation— on the right — weigh in on the week's political news. 


The final Congressional District map approved by the North Carolina General Assembly on Nov. 15.
N.C. General Assembly

A replacement map for North Carolina's congressional districts was finalized Friday, with its lines redrawn to address alleged extreme partisan bias and endangering reelection prospects for two Republicans next year.

The Supreme Court elections are coming and things are getting interesting (gavel on tabletop).
flickr.com/photos/leviphotos

North Carolina’s highest court won’t hasten an appeal by an advocacy group and state Democrats who say the Republican-controlled General Assembly didn’t do a good enough job redrawing legislative districts for the 2020 elections.

Updated at 4:18 p.m. ET

Democrats would be well-positioned to pick up two U.S. House seats currently held by Republicans under a redistricting plan approved by North Carolina lawmakers on Friday.

The plan follows a ruling by a state court last month that said North Carolina Republicans, who control the legislature, had violated the state constitution by unfairly disadvantaging Democrats. Republicans hold 10 of the state's 13 U.S. House districts under the existing congressional maps even though the state is closely politically divided.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The North Carolina Senate could vote Friday on newly redrawn congressional district lines to replace the current electoral map. A Republican majority pushed the map through the House on Thursday, hoping to avoid postponing North Carolina's Super Tuesday primaries in March.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding open hearings in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. All hearings will be streamed through this video player as they are live.

United States Representatives George Holding, left, and Mark Walker could have their seats threatened based on proposed Congressional maps.
U.S. House

The political future of two GOP incumbents could be endangered as North Carolina Republican legislators advanced a new congressional district map Thursday in response to a partisan gerrymandering lawsuit.

A breakdown of North Carolina's Congressional delegation through the years
UNC Library / Jason deBruyn

A joint legislative committee finished up its work Wednesday on redrawing North Carolina's 13 congressional district boundaries, producing more than a dozen possible replacements. Now,the redistricting process must move through the house and senate with candidate filing for 2020 less than three weeks away.

Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr
Kara Lynne Wiley / WUNC

Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia made a public appearance together during a talk at Wake Forest University, offering insights from their positions on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Republican Dan Forest wants to be promoted to governor of North Carolina.  

Forest, in his second-term as lieutenant governor, says  Democratic incumbent Roy Cooper is too liberal.

On this edition of the WUNC Politics Podcast, Forest gives his take on Medicaid expansion, why he believes a significant expansion of charter schools would benefit public education, and why he's happy to have a primary opponent for 2020. 


Flanked by educators dressed in red on November 8, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed four bills that he said "prioritized more corporate tax cuts over a real teacher pay raise and urged legislators to come together and come up with a compromise"
Governor's Office / Twitter

A state budget standoff is now in its fifth month. While legislators returned to Raleigh Wednesday following a brief hiatus, a resolution to the fiscal fight is not on their agenda.

Census 2020
Census Bureau

House Democrats investigating the origins of a proposed citizenship question for the 2020 Census said Tuesday they've found previously undisclosed communications between a Trump administration adviser and a redistricting guru who favored excluding noncitizens from population counts to help Republicans.

State lawmakers will be back in Raleigh Tuesday to continue work on redrawing North Carolina's 13 congressional district boundaries. A joint house-senate redistricting committee is acting on a state court's urging that lawmakers fix what the judges indicated was a map gerrymandered with excessive partisan bias.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The most powerful politician in North Carolina was accused of misusing campaign funds this week.

But Phil Berger's staff says this is much ado about nothing, and that the Republican from Rockingham County has twice received approval.

Mitch Kokai, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, review whether or not what Berger did should be illegal. And they also provide thoughts on the latest layer of drama within the UNC System.


Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed bills that increase teacher pay, saying the state can do better, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

North Carolina's governor has vetoed bills that increase teacher pay, saying the state can do better.

Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference Friday that he vetoed two bills that increase teacher pay and pay for non-instructional staff, saying the raises are "paltry."  He vetoed two other bills that cut corporate taxes.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Legislators met this week to tackle the task of redrawing congressional maps. The first meeting determined Republicans want to use the maps created for the advocacy group Common Cause North Carolina, while Democrats want to start from scratch. A three-judge panel ruled last week that the gerrymandered districts be redrawn in time for the 2020 election.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks to a capacity crowd of more than 3500 people at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination made a campaign stop in Raleigh last night.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren energized a capacity crowd at Broughton High School with an unabashedly populist message.

Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed one bill on Wednesday that addressed potential unlawful voting in North Carolina by non-citizens but signed another that strengthens mail-in absentee balloting rules following evidence of fraud in a congressional race last year.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly have begun redrawing congressional districts again. 

Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is in his third term representing what is currently known as the 6th District. The boundaries have already shifted several times since he first took office. 

Walker talks about the frustrations of constant redistricting, why he joined a protest against the impeachment inquiry process, and why he's pushing to let college athletes get paid. 


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